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Last Friday, my boyfriend broke up with me. I was so blindsided that I remember literally believing I was in a dream and believing that the tears pouring from my eyes were just sweat from my bed sheets. The breakup lasted two hours, which wouldn’t even come close to the amount of time it would take me to acknowledge the breakup was the right thing to do. 

There’s still some parts of it that I don’t understand and I think some of us never get over it. It’s not just that you’re losing someone who meant a lot to you, when someone can look you in the eye like my ex did and tell you he doesn’t love you even though you love him, it makes you second guess your own identity and future. It makes you feel like there’s something wrong with you. I’ve personally only ever had short-term relationships and every time the guy has broken up with me. People say I just haven’t found the right one yet, but then I’m left wondering will it ever happen? Am I even worth staying for? Maybe I’m just not good enough to be loved. I remind myself over and over again about how I’ll end up alone with no husband or kids and, like a snowball effect, I predict the downfall of my life before it even starts going down. 

It wasn’t until I spent more time alone and thought about why I was really upset with the breakup that I realized it wasn’t just another breakup; for me, it was a breakup from dating in general. It was a breakup from heartbreak and desperation and insecurity, and avoiding giving out so much love and putting effort into someone else for absolutely nothing. I’m a romantic and having a lack of a love life has always been hard for me. 

I’m scared to date again, and I’m scared of never dating again. It’s a double-edged sword. 

I realized, I fall in love with any guy who shows me attention. I genuinely fall for them, and if this is you: don’t let people deny you of your experience; the feelings of betrayal and hurt you feel are still totally validated. I just don’t think I should be dating. It should be easier. My past has made me paranoid that I’ll get broken up with, and I’m done counting down the days before it’s over. I’m done getting dumped. I can’t tolerate it anymore. This is the first Valentine’s I don’t have a man, and it feels weird and uncomfortable, but the good kind that is supposed to make you stronger. 

My ex told me I was a rebound. The whole relationship was a lie. I cut my hair, I wanted to be someone else. And I still do. I realized I didn’t love him either but I just wanted a guy to love me so bad. I think some of it has to do with the stigma around relationships for us girls in society. 

We want to find the one and we’re pressured to do that. I feel ashamed for being single and I shouldn’t. And that’s why I’m telling myself to take some years off from dating. I’m gonna write and hang out with friends and see what happens. If nothing happens, I’ll adapt and I’ll be okay. 

If you want to take a break, that is totally okay. So far it’s felt pretty good. 

I’ve provided a list of things to do that bring plenty of happiness without a man, especially on a day like Valentine’s. 

  1. Go for a run. Exercise. It feels so good to put yourself first. 
  2. Enjoy nature. 
  3. Take up a new hobby. Journal.
  4. Spend more time with friends and family, only ones who uplift you.
  5. Make a bucket list and actually put the ideas to action.
  6. Go thrifting. Get a new style. 
  7. Go sledding or snowboarding even if you’re like me and 90% sure you’ll end up in the hospital after. 
  8. Focus on your studies.
  9. Travel. Gain new perspectives.
  10. If you do these things and a man randomly walks into your life, explore it if you want to. And that’s great if it works out. If nothing happens, who cares. Happiness is more than having a man. 
Sydney Savage is a student at Michigan State University studying psychology and creative writing. She loves writing romcom novels in her free time and wants to be an author someday. She loves writing on topics she's passionate about :)
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